When a Restaurant Is More Than a Place to Dine

To end the year, we’re catching up on some old business.

A while back, in a newsletter about Bistro Praha in Edmonton, we asked you to tell us about restaurants that have become local institutions.

Read:Restaurants That Are Institutions as Much as Places to Dine

Les Fougères opened 30 years ago in Chelsea, Quebec.Credit…Ian Austen/The New York Times

Things are tough right now for many restaurants. Worldwide food inflation has, in some cases, increased the costs of ingredients used in restaurant kitchens beyond the ability of these businesses to raise their menu prices. In January, the government will start charging interest on the emergency loans that kept many of them in business during the pandemic. And staff members remain difficult to recruit in many areas. A July survey by Restaurants Canada, a lobby group, estimated that 33 percent of restaurants were operating at a loss, compared with 7 percent before the pandemic.

As we wrote earlier, restaurants that are considered institutions may not offer impressive décor or the ultimate in cuisine (although some do), and many are in less than inviting locations. But they are often part of people’s routines, or they are the places people return to when they visit their hometowns.

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